- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Water Sports
- Place or Religious Monument
- Off the beaten track
Not all the tourist circuits in Sri Lanka pass through Trincomalee, which is undoubtedly what makes it possible to keep this area unspoiled.
I wasn't expecting to discover such large beaches with such fine sand here, and largely deserted too, except for the odd tourist and a few rare fishermen. The sea is crystal clear and incredibly blue; the backdrop is filled with palm trees, and there isn't a single building to spoil this paradise on earth (yet).
I hadn't actually planned to go diving, but I gave into temptation and took advantage of the opportunity presented. What an unexpected surprise it was to get to follow a three-month-old baby shark! In fact I was so enjoying following it that I forgot the sun cream. The sunburn I experienced afterwards acted as a reminder of this memorable experience!
Although the Trincomalee region is about a ten-hour train journey from Colombo, it really is worth the visit if you are looking for somewhere off the beaten track. Try and avoid the night trains, however, as the carriages are dilapidated and infested with cockroaches.
I recommend you visit the Uppuveli beach, some kilometres north of the city. It is a long stretch of golden sand, lined with palm trees. Take the time to walk to the laguna, where I found a number of fishermen who also offered to take me on an excursion. As I crossed the sound, I stumbled upon a colourful Hindu kovil which faced the sea.
A bit further on, the Nilaveli beach makes a significant development. A few cable-lengths from the coast, I could appreciate the calm of Pigeon Island, as I stood alone on the beach watching the blacktip sharks frolic on the sand. Out of season, you will almost certainly be alone either in your hotel or on the beach. This is perfect if you have Robinson dreams.